You don’t bring me flowers,
You don’t sing me love songs
BECAUSE YOU’RE DEAD.
This widows’ Valentine message most likely wouldn’t make any money for Hallmark.
So what’s a widow to do on the invented holiday when romantic love is in the air, red hearts and chocolates invade her world? When everywhere she looks she is reminded that she is no longer anyone’s sweetheart?
When her own alive, beating, red heart is shattered ?
While researching for this post I came across a heartwarming article about a lucky widow (now there’s an oxymoron for ya !) whose late husband, before his death, thoughtfully arranged for an annual delivery of Valentine’s flowers to his wife ad infinitum.
Most of us can’t count on that Hallmark movie scene at our own homes, so then, what?
On my first solo Valentines’ Day I made a tiny step towards my new life by rearranging my bedroom furniture. A new comforter set, pillows, and rug were purchased. Then came the tear-inducing task of emptying the drawers and discarding what I could of John’s clothing. His underwear went in the trash, everything else was boxed and stored in the attic for future quilts. Someday. When I’m ready.
I worked myself to exhaustion that day. Once finished, I slept in the bed, our bed, without John, for my first Valentines’ Day alone, with memories of 36 Valentines Days, playing in my head. All the pounds of Phillips Candy House fudge, chocolate covered cherries, for me and the kids. The year I contracted chickenpox, at age 29, looked like hell and still felt like the most beautiful girl in the world as my John brought me candy and told me he loved me, and to stay in bed while he took care of the babies. True love.
Flash forward to our last Valentines Day together. A major snowstorm had delayed our dinner reservations so late that we gave up and drove home, hoping to grab a bite at the little local tavern, only to find it closed early due to snow. A meager dinner of cheese and crackers by the fire at home sufficed and we made up for it the next day with a lovely lunch.
Now I celebrate a combined Valentines Day/Birthday with my black lab Babe, who turns 10 tomorrow. Cheeseburgers for both of us.
John won’t buy me flowers this year, or any year. I will buy flowers for his grave, and a rose or two for me. And chocolates. Because he would want that.
Chocolates and wine for me. At least the major food groups are covered and I have 90 pounds of warm dog in my bed. That and my memories will get me through.